I am pointing out the obvious here, but we write a lot. Some days our contributors can be writing over 20,000 words per day, and that does not include the emails or admin jobs. So, you may think that our grammar and spelling is perfect. Very, very wrong.
Thankfully (for us) there are several platforms online that provide a browser-based grammar and spell check service that keeps you right no matter where you're writing. The most popular of which is "Grammarly" which is an American-based cloud typing service. It reviews your spelling, grammar, punctuation, engagement, tone and whether the sentence makes sense. It can also detect plagiarism and allows the user to customize their style, tone and you can programme it to correct context-specific language/ word choice. A very clever bit of kit.
But, for anybody who has been using the free version, you'll know that it has its flaws (I'm using Grammarly right now so hopefully the AI doesn't know I m writing about it and terminates me like Skynet). The system (sorry again computer) can be a little buggy, often miscorrects words and often corrects English-English to US-English. Which is annoying for people from the UK.
There is a paid version of Grammarly but I don't want to pay for it and I wouldn't need most of what the service provides. So, it got me thinking. Is there a Grammarly Alternative that is better and still free?
Let's have a look:
- Language Tool
In my opinion, Language Tool is the best free alternative to Grammarly. Or at least it is my favourite.
It is downloadable for most browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox and is compatible for both Mac and Microsoft.
Language tool is both proof-reading tool and spell-check which is vastly superior to the in-built systems on your phone or computer. It allows you to change the language location and tells you the grammar mistakes you are making. Very handy if you can be bothered to learn.
As an additional alternative service that Grammarly does not provide, Language Tool can also translate your writing into 40 languages. My knowledge of other languages is not good enough to know whether the translations are accurate, but I am sure it is handy to somebody.
ProWritingAid (Free Version)
While similar to Grammarly, ProWritingAid has a paid service, their free version is a great alternative to Grammarly if you want to change the spell checker you're using.
ProWritingAid allows you to adjust your writing style (academic writing, blog posts or for business) and has a few other options to adjust your user experience.
The browser extension is free however, the full desktop version needs to be paid for.
ProWritingAid is one of the better services on the market for this job, and is very easy to use. Most of the time the system is accurate and I get a lot of value from the alternative word-use system. It is handy when you just run out of words and is good for a little bit of inspiration when you need it.
Named after the famous author, Earnest Hemmingway, the Hemmingwayapp is a very handy free alternative to Grammarly.
Although a little less complex than Grammarly, Hemmingway does the job of checking your spelling, ensuring your grammar is correct and checking your language choice. It also grades your writing to make sure you're consistently producing high-quality writing.
The app is simple and highlights the mistakes with colour-coded shading, similar to other apps, and makes it easy to change any mistakes you've made.
Hemmingway is free and you can download it for Mac, Windows, WordPress and most browsers.
Personally, I did not enjoy using this one so much, but it did the job and I found it to be a decent alternative to Grammarly.
The service requires you to sign up and register on the website but comes in the form of a browser extension. It can be installed on Chrome, and Firefox, plus, is easily downloaded via Mac and Windows devices.
The system is a spell checker, and reviews punctuation, as well as ensures correct sentence structure and corrects errors where words are used in the wrong context.